In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, salt and warm water. Let sit for five minutes. Add the flour.
Using a stand mixer with a dough hook mix the dough on low for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
Once the dough is pulling from the sides of the bowl, increase the speed to medium-high and knead for 8 minutes.
Once the dough is elastic, slapping the sides of the bowl and slightly tacky to the touch remove the dough from the mixer (it should stick to your hands a bit). Form into a ball and choose your next step.
At this point you have three options:1. If you plan to use immediately, place the dough ball onto a floured surface and roll out the dough to fit a 14-inch pizza pan or into a 10x15 sheet pan. Move on to the baking instructions.*2. If you plan to use the next day or later in the week, place the dough ball into a sealable plastic bag. Place into the fridge to let cold proof for several hours. For best results use from 24 to 72 hours later. The dough can be stored up to 5 days in the fridge.3. If you plan to use in the next few hours, place the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and then place a towel over the bowl. Set in a dry warm spot and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I place mine into the oven and use the “proofing” option. This can also be achieved by placing into an oven set at a temperature at about 100 degrees F. At this point, there's another set of options: A. If you don’t have time for a second rise, skip this next step and move on to the baking instructions. B. For a second rise, place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough ball into two. Form two balls and place seam side down in a lightly oiled bowl. Let rise again, covered at room temperature or back into the oven for another 1 ½ to 2 hours.
*When ready to bake, heat the oven to 550 degrees (if your oven does not go up to 550 degrees, heat to 500 degrees F and bake a few minutes longer). If your oven has a convection option, bake the pizza using this feature.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough ball to fit the desired baking pan.
Add desired toppings and bake for 8 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and cooked through. This will vary based on the temperature of the oven as well as the type and size of pan used. Keep a watchful eye for best results.